I will be going through potential offseason options for the Colts. This will include potential free agent signings and resignings as well as possible coaching/front office changes.
In-House Free Agents
- Eric Fisher- Fisher did not live up to his contract this year and the Colts should be very actively looking to replace him if possible. There are a few options that may be available in free agency (will look into those later) and this draft is supposed to be a good one for tackles (we'll see what's available without a 1st round pick). With all that in mind there are far worse options out there than Fisher and we may be left with no choice but to resign him. Hopefully nothing longer than a one year deal and hopefully under $8mil.
- TY Hilton- Hilton has been a staple of the Colts offense for years. However, Injuries appear to be taking a toll. While Hilton still is a great route runner he just doesn't stretch the field like he used to. If he played the full season I do think he would have ended up around 600 yards though. TY is thinking about retiring but if he decides he wants to come back he will have to take a pay cut. I would be open to bringing TY back for a 1 year deal worth around $6mil. Hopefully he retires and forces Ballard to make a move at the position.
- Mark Glowinski- Glowinski Started off the year rough but finished strong. He did split reps with Reed. Glowinski is likely someone that we'll lose in free agency as someone will likely pay him more. It would be nice if we could bring him back for continuity but I believe we can get similar performance for cheaper.
- Xavier Rhodes- Rhodes was great for us in 2020 but was average at best this year. He seemed to be hampered by a hamstring injury and just couldn't get fully healthy. considering his age and possible injury concern (along with the emergence from Rodgers) I think we should let him walk.
- Mo Ali-Cox- I think TE is 3rd in our needs. Doyle is considering retirement and hasn't been much a threat in the passing game and Granson is still learning the ropes but has great potential to be a good receiving TE for us. I think we should resign Cox. He has been a great blocker for us and redzone threat. However, that is about all for his skill set. He is limited by his slow movement and messy route running (he looks like a wounded gazelle out there). even if we resign Cox we should still be actively looking to upgrade this position.
- Zach Pascal- Pascal started off the season great catching several TDs in the first 2 games. then it was all down hill. He isn't a very dynamic play but he does offer great blocking ability on runs/screen plays, which outside of Pittman we don't have WRs with that skill. I don't think the price will match the performance with Pascal to warrant another contract (despite our need for WRs). If we let Pascal walk (which I believe we should) we will need to replace is blocking ability that he brings but hopefully letting him walk will allow us to get a player with more explosiveness.
- Al-Quadin Muhammad- Muhammand led our EDGE rushers in sacks with 6. This stat is sad. I personally find Muhammad underwhelming as an EDGE rusher and think we should move on from him. This would allow Dayo more starting and developing time. I think Dayo can provide the same skills as a run stopper while providing a higher ceiling as a pass rusher.
- Sam Tevi- Tore his ACL before the season started and looked awful before that. Got out performed by davenport (which is hard to do). Let walk
- Isaac Rochelle- was a solid depth piece and while he didn't get any sacks this year I was impressed by his tackling skills. would bring back on a similar or less deal.
- George Odum- Really great special teams player and had his moments when he was forced to start but he was very inconsistent. I would love to bring him back but he seemed quite unhappy with the contract we gave him last year and may want to leave for somewhere that will pay him more money.
- TJ Carrie- Spent most of the year injured and didn't play well when on the field. Let walk
- Marlon Mack- Spent most of the year inactive, let walk.
- Kemoko Turay- Finished the season with a career high in sacks with 5.5 and played 20% of the snaps. He really seemed to be putting it together towards the end of the season but sadly I think his time with this team is done. I could see him resigned as we don't have many speed rushers on our team but I can't see him getting more than a 1 year deal. I'm on the fence about bringing him back
- Julie'n Davenport- For the love of God please do not resign
- Chris Reed- Played really well at both LG and RG. Would love to bring him back at RG if we don't resign Glow. I think we'll get better run blocking but slightly worse pass protection and Reed has position versatility. I also think Reed will be cheaper than Glow. Given how Reed performed I do not think we'll be able to bring him back in a backup capacity however.
- Tyquan Lewis- Lewis was really starting to emerge when he went down for the year with his PCL injury. In 8 games he had 2.5 sacks and 6 QB hits. If Lewis recovers well from his injury I want to bring him back to be Dayo's primary backup. I would also like to see Dayo play mostly at DE and have Lewis kick it in on 3rd down instead. Given his injury I don't see him getting more than a 1 year deal if resigned.
- Andrew Sendejo- Signed after Blackmon went down. He played better than expected but he is a liability in coverage and to his teammates and would like to replace him with young depth who is better in pass coverage.
- Michael Badgley- Started off pretty good for us but then slowly started to turn back into the Badgley that we've seen in seasons passed. Honestly, I don't want him on the team. He can't kick from the right hash and everything he can do Blankenship can do better. I image we resign him as we usually carry a couple of kickers into camp but ultimately go with Blankenship.
- Taylor Stallworth- Played surprising well in his limited role. He compliments well with Stewart. I would most definitely resign Stallworth as he is a good jack of all trades on the interior.
- Matt Pryor- Played really well and has position versatility. We have been missing this kind of player since Haeg left and we should resign Pryor. Pryor could also serve as our short term 1 year solution at LT but is better as a backup. He is everything Tevi was supposed to be but better
- Zaire Franklin- Played pretty well as our 3rd LB and played really well on special teams. I would bring him back but look for someone else to replace him as our 3rd LB
- Ashton Dulin- really great specials teams player and brought some much need speed to our offense towards the end of the season. While he is still a bit raw his special teams production is enough to bring him back
- Matthew Adams- Good special teams player who could end up getting replaced by someone with similar production at a lesser cost
We have more pending free agents but these were the most notable
Conclusion: We should resign Cox, Rochelle, Reed, Lewis, Stallworth, Pryor, Badgley, Franklin, and Dulin. If the price is right we should resign Glowinski, Fisher, Hilton, Turay, Odum
Possible Free Agent Acquisitions
Expected Cap Space: ~$41 million
- Allen Robinson- Probably coming off one of his worse seasons as a pro (through no fault of his own). Robinson has been a great WR and is at the top of the lists for targets Colts fans want to see our team pursue this offseason. He is on the older side of the free agent class this year as he will be 29 when next season starts. Out of all the high value free agents WR he will probably be the cheapest which could attract Ballard. Robinson would make a great addition to this team if we're able to get him but I think he may be lacking the explosiveness and YAC this team needs
- Chris Godwin- Godwin will either receive the most or second most money of the free agent WR class. While we do have a need for WR I don't think we'll end up pursuing someone like Godwin because of that price tag. I think we can get similar performance for much cheaper.
- Devante Adams- This man will probably be the highest paid WR this offseason. It's hard to imagine he'll leave Green bay if Rodgers stays and like above he'll probably cost more than Ballard is willing to pay and considering we have a massive hole at LT to fill spending that much on a WR may not be the smartest move. While he would be great to have in the end I believe we should look for cheaper options.
- Jamison Crowder- Speaking of cheaper options. Crowder could be a nice slot receiver for us. He is nothing special but he has been pretty consistent. He's not one of my preferred WRs but I think he could nicely fill a whole on this team at a reasonable price
- JuJu Smith-Schuster- While JuJu has talent I ultimately think he isn't a culture fit for this team and for that reason I don't think he should be pursued.
- Mike Williams- We have been desperately in need for a deep threat and this could be our answer. Williams is coming off an 1100 yard performance where he averaged 15.1 YPC. He will probably cost between 15-20 mil a year but I think he would be a great addition to this team.
- Zay Jones- After the departure of Ruggs Jones really stepped up. Jones would provide another option for a deep threat at a much more reasonable price. Jones did have an incident when he was on the Bills but I do not know how he's been since so there may be a concern there.
- Josh Reynolds- Reynolds is another player who could fill in as our slot receiver and is younger with more upside than Crowder. I think he can be a really good WR 3 for our team and I'm interested in pursuing Reynolds but that wont fix our lack of a WR 2
- Christian Kirk- Kirk is coming off his best season but he still has yet to beak 1000 yards. He could be someone we bring in that could fill that WR 2 role. I think he'll be more of a lower end WR 2 but if we get a competent WR 3 as well our receiving core would be looking pretty good. I'm personally no the biggest fan of Kirk but he is a realistic option for the Colts.
- Odell Beckham Jr.- Odell is showing that he still has it but he is aging and has a bit of a reputation as a diva. I don't think he is someone the Colts would pursue but I think he is still a playmaker
- DJ Chark- Chark is probably my favorite free agent WR. I think he may fly a little under the radar but I love his combination of size and speed. He was also able to produce a 1000 yard season while playing for Jacksonville
- Michael Gallup- Gallup will be coming off an ACL injury so that is something to monitor but he became the odd man out in Dallas. He has 1 1100 yard season under his belt and would probably have another if Dak wasn't hurt in 2020. He would be a great WR 2 for this team and he wouldn't break the bank.
Conclusion: For our WR 2 position I believe the Colts should pursue Gallup, Chark, Kirk, and Williams. For our WR 3 spot we should pursue Reynolds and Crowder
- Terron Armstead- Premium LTs don't hit the market often. If Armstead hits the open market we should give him a blank check.
- Orlando Brown Jr.- The chiefs gave up quite a bit for Brown so I don't expect him to hit the open market but if he does he is young and could anchor down the position for a while. He also has position flexibility. He might be a bit of a diva/head case though so that may be something to keep in mind. I would still take him over Fisher.
- Cam Robinson- Robinson Had himself a decent year and could be a cheaper option as an upgrade from Fisher. Robinson allowed 1 sack this past season and had 5 penalties. Both are an improvement from Fisher.
Conclusion: If Armstead becomes available do whatever it takes to sign him. Robinson is a good, younger, and cheaper alternative.
- Zach Ertz- Has great chemistry with Wentz but is getting old. We just drafted Granson to be a receiving TE and I'm not sure if we should give up on him after 1 season. Ertz doesn't block. Could be a good addition as a receiving TE if the coaching staff doesn't have faith in Granson.
- Gerald Everett- Another receiving TE who doesn't offer much as a blocker. Much younger than Ertz but hasn't seem to quite be able to put it all together.
- OJ Howard- Hasn't lived up to his potential but has has much opportunity to thanks to injuries and being in an offense with many mouths to feed. Has some blocking ability and could be used as a possible replacement for Doyle. Maybe a change of scenery could do him well. This would be a riskier signing
- Hayden Hurst- Fits the mold of our TE 1 can catch and block well. He would be a great replacement for Doyle if he were to retire. Hurst is nothing too special though
- Evan Engram- Very inconsistent pass catching TE. I would just stay away from.
- David Njoku- Would be a very interesting option for a pass catching TE. We saw what happened when Odell left Mayfield. Maybe we'll see something similar from Njoku
- Mike Gesicki- Another pass catching TE suck in a terrible offense not my first choice
- Dalton Schultz- Another interesting Option as a Doyle replacement. He is a good blocker but has emerged as a decent pass catcher.
Conclusion: The Colts need an upgrade at TE. Hopefully Doyle retires. IF he does finding a replacement will be important ( and Cox ain't it). Good options to replace Doyle would be Hurst or Schultz. Howard could be but isn't as solid of a blocker. If we're giving up on Granson after 1 season and looking for a pass catching TE then Ertz would be a good option because of his chemistry with Wentz outside of that I would pursue Njoku.
- Emmanuel Ogbah- He has 2 seasons in a row with 9 sacks and is still fairly young at 28. The more established EDGE rushers are all on the wrong side of 30 and in the twilight of their careers. He would be a good addition next to Paye if Dayo doesn't pan out
- Arden Key- At one point in time Key was considered a 1st round prospect. He ended up falling to the 3rd round after concerns about his desire to play football. He struggled to get play time while with the Raiders. As a result he spent this past season with the 49ers. He played 34% of the snaps and got 6.5 sacks in that play time. He could replace Turay as our speed rusher.
- Rasheem Green- Green was given a bigger role this season and he returned that with 6.5 sacks and played 66% of the snaps. I don't know if he would be able to beat Dayo out for the starting job but at the very least would be good depth as a rotational piece.
- Jadeveon Clowney- After back to back disappointing seasons Clowney registered a 9 sack season. Clowney is a stout run defender who just hasn't lived up to his potential as a pass rusher. If he's will to accept that he's only an above average pass rusher and the pay that comes with that he could have a spot on this team.
Conclusion: I'm personally not in favor of getting an EDGE rusher to be a starter. I want Dayo and Paye to have a full season together as starters to evaluate them. If they can't perform this coming year then I think we should look for a replacement. However, given our lack of pass rush I would understand picking up one of these guys.
We have a good young group at CB so I'll be looking at guys who are young and have some starting experience to provide depth or challenge Rodgers for the other starting spot. We could go older with more experience but I'm thinking younger.
- Charvarius Ward- Has been a starter for the Chiefs and if he comes he he would most likely be a starter for us. He can probably be had at a reasonable cost
- Ahkello Witherspoon- He didn't play all that great during his rookie contract but played pretty well this year with the Steelers getting 3 ints despite only playing 33% of the snaps. He also has a pff grade of 75.9 for what that's worth.
- Levi Wallace- Levi Wallace played over 90% of the snaps for the Bills this season and allowed a 57% completion percentage and a 65 rating when targeted. He also had 2 ints.
We currently have no one in line to play RG (unless we resign Glow or Reed).
- Austin Corbett- Starter for the Rams and allowed 3 sacks and committed 2 penalties. He would be a younger option. While he allowed more sacks I don't think the drop off would be much if any. He would cost about as much if not maybe a little more than Glow so if we don't want to pay Glow we probably wont want to pay Glow
- James Daniels- Like Corbett Daniels allowed 3 sacks. What's not good news is Daniels committed 9 penalties. He is young so the penalties may be correctable.
Conclusion: We don't have many options if we want to make lateral moves in both age and skill department and are probably better off resigning our own.
We have a pretty solid safety duo with Willis and Blackmon, however, as we've seen this pass season we have absolutely nothing behind them. We need to bring in some solid depth in case either were to miss time.
- Tracy Walker- Walker allowed was targeted 28 times and allowed 18 catches for a 64% completion percentage. He played in 15 games and over 70% of the total snaps for the Lions. Adding someone like Walker would give our safety room some more experience and great depth. He may even push Willis for a starting spot.
- Xavier Woods- If we acquired Woods he would most definitely replace Willis as a starter. I could see a situation where Willis could be used in more run stopping situations and Woods in more Pass heavy situations.
Conclusion: The Colts should look for someone who could be a low to mid tier starter to provide depth and promote competition. Considering the safety market is usually cheap we may be able to get a good deal here.
Front Office Changes
It appears the speculation is that Eberflus will be the Bears next HC and Brown will get hired to be their GM. Brown getting hired would net us 2 3rd round picks, one this year and one next year. I'm not that knowledgeable on front office people so I wont speculate on who will replace him.
Possible DC Hires
- Vic Fangio: Fangio is responsible for the defense that carried Trubisky and Nagy to the playoffs. This is enough evidence to show that he is a capable DC. It would appear that he just isn't cut out to be a HC, at least at this point. Fangio has experience running both 3-4 and 4-3 defenses but I would say he specializes in 3-4 which we aren't built for.
- Mike Zimmer: Zimmer is supposed to be a defensive guru however, during the past few seasons the Vikings haven't had very good defenses. That may be because Zimmer is better as a DC than a HC. Zimmer is well known for running 4-3 defenses which would be good for us as that's what we're built to play. Zimmer done run quite of bit of cover 2 which is a bit controversial among Colts fans right now. Zimmer also likes to play quarters defense. Zimmer does mix up coverages though.
- Lovie Smith: If Ballard wants our team to run cover 2 then we might as well go all out and get one of the best cover 2 coaches there is Lovie Smith. Smith has ties to Ballard dating back to their Chicago days. This familiarity could give Smith an edge as a potential replacement.
- Bob Babich/John Butler: This is the Bills LB and DB coach respectively. The Bills have touted one of the leagues best defenses and part of that is thanks to the LB and secondary of that defense. Babich would be a less sexy hire and has ties to Lovie Smith. Butler would be a sexier choice and with how young our secondary is having a coach that coached up the likes of Tre White and others could be beneficial.
- James Rowe: Rowe is our current CB's coach and this would be an internal hire. Rowe is younger and lacks the coaching experience of the other candidates so he may not be ready for the role but Ya Sin and Rodgers have had good development under him.
- Alan Williams: Our current safety coach and probably one of the more likely candidates to replace Eberflus. We have shown that we're not afraid to hire from within as we promoted Brady to OC after losing Sirianni to the Eagles. Williams has extensive coaching experience and has ran of plenty of zone heavy defenses working for Dungy. Williams also has DC experience.
Conclusion: We're likely to hire from within and promote Williams. Either way who ever we hire we're probably looking at more of the same with cover 2 and zone heavy schemes, Which I'm sure will disappoint many Colts fans.
The Colts will be without a 1st round pick this year thanks to the Wentz trade. We are also likely to receive a 5th and 6th round comp pick thanks to the departures of Autry and Brissett. We also may gain another 3rd round pick is Brown is hired as the Bears GM.
- 47th (second)
- 82nd (third)
- Brown hire pick (end of third)
- 119th (fourth)
- 157th (fifth)
- 178th (fifth comp)
- 216th (sixth comp)
- 236th (seventh)
- 237th (seventh)
Gaining an extra 3rd round pick, even if it's at the end of the 3rd, would be great for because we're missing our 1st round pick. This means that we can likely get 3 players in the draft that are likely to be pretty decent contributors next season.
EDIT: The Bears have hired their GM and it isn't Brown. This means we wont be receiving any additional 3rd round picks. This also reduces the chance of Eberflus leaving but it's not impossible.